Congressman G.K. Butterfield (D- NC) held a health care town hall meeting last night to a crowd around 500 people, the N&O reports. The mixed audience responded with anger, worry and for some, support. The congressional town hall highlighted the rising tension dividing the nation, and brothers, over the facts and implications of Obama’s health care reform. Oh, excuse me, health insurance reform. Whether conservatives choose to protest Obamacare, rally at the Patient’s First Bus Tour or voice opposition to their local representatives, let’s be sure to get the facts straight. Here is a (short) list of reforms we should be in favor of:
- Enact tort reform to control the endless malpractice lawsuits that force doctors to perform unnecessary tests and then pay skyrocketed insurance costs.
The Senate Finance committee’s white paper points out: “Medical malpractice insurance premiums have risen steadily over recent decades, at times increasing an average of 15 percent a year. Some states have seen even more dramatic increases. Pennsylvania, for example, experienced increases ranging from 26 to 73 percent in 2003.”
- Support the creation of a system that will allow people to transfer insurance from job to job. For example, start by extending the length of COBRA benefits and then allow health care exchanges.
- Support the removal of state laws that do not allow insurance companies to compete across state lines.
- Remove excess government mandates that determine what companies must cover and prove to hike up the cost of private health insurance.
- Implement tax reform NOT tax increases: provide tax laws that allow employer-provided health insurance and individually owned health insurance to have the same tax benefits applied equally to both.
- And finally, fight the public option on matters of principle and application. A direct government provision is not the solution and will result in government dissolution and the collapse of the private insurance market.
John Mackey, the co-founder and CEO of Whole Foods Market Inc. wrote the “Whole Foods Alternative to Obamacare” and expands on a few reforms listed above and offers other reforms to consider. Check out his article in the WSJ here. If North Carolina is going to debate the ramifications of Obamacare let’s be sure to offer sustainable, free-market reform solutions and not just angry words.